Telemedicine

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Telemedicine

What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a broad term that encompasses the many ways patients and medical providers can communicate without being physically present. It most often involves chat, phone, or video technology through a secure online portal. This could include ordering medications for delivery, asking medical questions via a computer or phone service, and attending virtual doctor’s visits.

Does Telemedicine Differ from Telehealth?

The term telemedicine is often used interchangeably with telehealth, but telehealth more often refers to the broader scope and infrastructure of remote healthcare, including non-clinical services, continuing education and provider training, and scheduling/billing.

How Does Telemedicine Work?

Like many industries, healthcare had to pivot quickly to remote operations during COVID, and telemedicine appears to be an enduring outcome of the pandemic. In fact, the regulatory hurdles that presented the largest legal challenge to telemedicine seem to be fading away.

Of course, telemedicine is not an alternative to seeking emergency care for a heart attack, stroke, bone fracture, or other urgent condition requiring hands-on attention. Still, in many circumstances, employees can get the help they need through telemedicine—including minor infections, viral illnesses, and even dermatological diagnoses.

It’s also possible that health concerns that prompt a telemedicine appointment may lead to an in-office visit. But telemedicine is an excellent screener for providers and patients to determine when a physical consult is absolutely necessary.

Related Terms: Health Insurance

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